Thought for the Day
Friday 3rd July 2015
Dr. Amanullah De Sondy
Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Islam
University College Cork, Ireland
The Hungarian government is running a campaign to encourage young people to return back to the country. The campaign known as ‘young people, come home’, provides a number of incentives including a free flight and a monthly allowance for a year. Reading about this reminded me of my own experience of coming back to Celtic lands from the USA.
In the initial stages of learning about life in Cork, I remember watching an interview that the President of the University had given in which he talked about the time he told Mother’s to ‘cover their ears’ as he advised graduating students to ‘go away’. President Murphy believes that young people should go away and learn about skills and diversity at an international stage but offering it back on return.
Another example of some one leaving and returning back to a homeland is our very own Andy Murray. Most of Murray’s year is spent in Miami as he volleys around the globe aiming to win more titles but we often hear of his return back to the small city of Dunblane where it all began for him.
Sending folks away or luring them back is easier said than done and there are many Scottish greats who didn’t return back but is this always about incentives? For me, if I’m honest, it was a mixture of academic promotion but more importantly it was the connections that pulled me back to be closer to Scotland. In some way the strength of my Muslim identity is mixed and shaped in Scottish society. The early years of our lives are connected to the land that shapes us. The roads and the hills that we’ve walked. Connected in to this are the beliefs that we hold strong to. It is these roots that quite often tug us back home - to a place that centers us and helps us flourish in thought and action.